Chocolate may be in danger of becoming extinct by the middle of this century. Pests and fungal diseases have been found in cacao trees that may endanger the crop’s survival.
In addition, cacao is also under attack by global warming. Trees grow in a very small area about 20° north and south of the equator, where humidity and temperatures are the same all year round. By 2050 rising temperatures and drier weather will push cacao production up into mountainous areas, many of which are home to wild animals.
Scientists from the University of California are trying to save the plant. Together with researchers from the American food company Mars, they are trying to grow cacao seeds that are moreresistantand can grow at higher altitudes.
Most of the world’s cacao production comes from two countries in western Africa, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. These areas may not be suitable for cacao production in the decades to come. Millions of farmers depend on cacao for a living.
altitude = how high up something is
cacao = seeds from which chocolate is made
decade = ten years
endanger = to be a threat to something
equator = line around the middle of the earth
extinct = die out; not exist anymore
century = a hundred years
depend on = need
fungal disease= disease caused by a simple plant that has no leaves and grows in the ground or on other plants; mushrooms are a type of fungus
global warming = an increase in the world’s temperatures caused by growing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere
humidity = the amount of water that is in the air
in addition = also
mountainous = in the mountains
pest = a small animal or insect that can destroy crops and plants
researcher = person who studies a topic in order to find out more about it
resistant = here: it cannot be destroyed or damaged
rise = to go up
scientist = person who is trained in science and works in a lab
seed = small hard object from produced by plants, from which a new plant can grow
suitable = here: to be the ideal place to grow something
According to new research drinking coffee may actually be healthier than previously thought. Some health experts now say that a few cups of coffee a day could reduce the risk of certain illnesses including liver disease, cancer, stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Coffee may containsubstances that help fight these diseases. Caffeine is probably not one of them since people who drankdecaffeinatedcoffeehadthe same benefits.
Although there is no real proof that coffee consumption will actually help you live longer, it seems to be safe to drink it. The research collected evidence from previousstudies and showed that, compared with non-coffee drinkers, those who drink an average of 3 cups a day, experience a lower risk of some diseases.
On the other side, drinking too much coffee during pregnancy could be harmful to the unborn child. Health experts also say that coffee drinkers should avoid putting toomuch milk, cream or sugar in their coffee. In addition, doctors say you shouldn’t start drinking coffee if you haven’t done so before.
Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages. Two billion cups are consumed every day.
according to = as shown by …
although = while
avoid = not do something
benefits = good sides, advantages
billion = a thousand million = 1,000,000,000
beverage = hot or cold drink
caffeine = a substance that keeps you awake
cancer = very serious disease in which cells in one part of the body grow in an uncontrolled way
compared = if you look at …
consume = here: drink
contain = to have in them
decaffeinated = without caffeine
dementia = illness that affects the brain and your memory; it slowly makes you unable to think and remember things
evidence = facts that show that some things really are true or exist
experience = here: the effect that something has on you
illness = disease
in addition = also
liver = large organ inside your body that cleans your blood
popular = common; liked by many people
pregnancy = situation in which you are expecting a baby
previously = before, earlier
research = studies about a special subject
stroke = a blood vessel in your brain suddenly bursts or gets blocked; you could die or be unable to move some muscles
A Belgian research team has found out that there is a connection between sugar consumption and the growth of cancer in a person’s body.
Scientists have found out that sugar not only gives us energy but may also be responsible for faster-growing tumour cells of cancer patients. Although there is no proof that eating less sugar is good for cancer growth there are indications that if there are already cancer cells in your body sugar can make them grow faster. Low sugar diets, therefore, could be beneficialfor people who already have cancer.
The study shows that cancer cells process food differently than healthy cells in the body. They also break down glucose, a form of sugar, more rapidly.
The research has been carried out for 9 years and now gives doctors new insights in the connection between sugar and cancer.
although = while
beneficial = to have a good effect on your body
cancer = a very serious disease in which cells in one part of your body start to grow in a way that is not normal
carry out = here: to do experiments
connection = link, relationship
consumption = intake; the amount that we eat
diet = the food that we eat regularly
indications = signs that shows that something is happening
insight = to be able to understand something better
process = here: to turn into substances that your body can use
rapidly = quickly
research = to study a subject closely in order to find out new facts about it
responsible = to cause or lead to something
scientist = a person who is trained in science and works in a lab
therefore = that is why
tumour cell = the bad cells in your body that divide and increase quickly
The world’s wine production in 2017 is expected to be at its lowest since 1961. Grape harvests, especially in the major Europeanwine-producing countries, Spain, France and Italy , are low. Thanks to surplus production in the last few years there is enough wine available and there will be no shortages for consumers. However, wine experts say this could lead to an overall rise in wine prices.
Global wine production is expected to drop by 8% to 246 million hectoliters, which would be the lowest overall production since 1961. Italy and France have reported that their grape harvest will go down by 20 % each in 2017. Spanish production is expected to drop by 15 %. Nevertheless, the quality of the grapes is expected to be very good.
Countries that have had normal or larger grape harvests, like Australia, Argentina and South Africa will profit from the low European production and be able to sell bring more of their wine on world markets.
The United States, the world’s fourth largest wine producer, has witnessed wildfires in California, the country’s number one wine-growing state. But they have not done any significantdamage because the crops had already been harvested.
There are two main reasons for the poor harvest in Europe. Cold temperatures and frost in early spring damaged many vineyards. Dry summers and long heat waves have also lead to a drop in harvest figures. In some areas the decline in production means that small wine-producing families are facing financial problems and sometimes even bankruptcy.
available = something that can be bought
bankruptcy = if you are not able to pay the money that you owe to others
consumer = a person who buys products
damage = when somersetting is destroyed
decline = go down, drop
drop = go down
especially = above all
expected = thought to be
face = deal with a difficult situation
grape = small round green or purple fruits that are grown for wine
heat wave = period of time when it is very hot and does not rain
Africa’s Great Green Wall is a project to create a natural wall of trees across Africa. The wall will stretch across Africa south of the Sahara desert from the Atlantic Ocean to the Horn of Africa. When finished the 8,000 km long and 15 km wide Great Green Wall will be the largest man-made structure on earth.
The project started in 2007 in an attempt to fight desertification, permanent drought and food shortages in countries of the Sahel zone, one of the poorest regions in the world.
However, the building of the wall is not moving forward fast enough. Up to now, only 15% of the trees have already been planted, mainly in Senegal. The ambitious project will cost over $4 billion. 21 African countries, the World Bank, the FAO and the French government have committed themselves to financing the natural wall.
The Great Green Wall will run through an area, in which the dry season can last up to 10 months a year. Experts claim that by 2025 a large part of the fertile land in the region could be lost if nothing is done to save it. In addition, the wall is expected to provide food for 20 million Africans and also bind millions of tons of carbon dioxide.
ambitious = good but difficult to do
bind = here: to make it stay in the ground and not let it escape into the atmosphere
carbon dioxide = gas that is produced when animals breathe out or when carbon is burned in the air
claim = to say that something is true, even if you cannot prove it
commit = here: to say that you will do something
desert = land where it is always dry and where there are few plants and a lot of rocks and sand
desertification = when farmland changes into desert
drought = long period of dry weather when there is not enough water for plants and animals to live
FAO = Food and Agriculture Organisation = organisation in the United Nations that helps produce food and gives it to poor people around the world
fertile = here: land that is good enough to produce food
mainly = mostly
move forward = to make progress; here: to continue building
permanent = existing for a long time
provide = give
Sahel zone = dry area of land between the Sahara desert and tropical Africa